About To Turn 65 – What Needs to be Done?

Are you going to be celebrating your 65th birthday this year?      Are you still employed and wonder if you should be signing up for Medicare?      At Balanced Care, we know you will have questions regarding Medicare and have put together a list of things to do to help you with this transition.

First of all, congratulations.      You have  been working for over 40 years and deserve to give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work.        If you are still working,  Balanced Care recommends that you meet with your Human Resources department to find out how your benefits will change once you become eligible for Medicare.      Normally, you become eligible for Medicare on the first day of your birth month. Balanced Care recommends that you do this about three to six months prior to your 65th birthday.

Once you have met with your Human Resources department, this will give you better insight into if you will need to continue working part or full-time or if you should be thinking about retirement.      Meeting with your Financial Advisor is also an important step in determining if you should be contemplating retirement or should continue to work.

Whether you decide to continue working or not, insurance companies know you will soon be eligible for Medicare.    With this said, you will begin to receive piles of flyers, postcards, etc.  from every single insurance carrier that is licensed in your state.    Brokers that sell Medicare products will also send you letters and may even knock on your door hoping to sell you their products.      Some of these insurance carriers will also send information to your e-mail address and may call you attempting to set up an appointment.     Balanced Care highly recommends that if you haven’t done so already to register on the National Do Not Call List.     You can include your home and cell phone numbers on the Do Not Call List.    We have known clients to receive up to twenty calls a day when they are about to turn 65.      By registering on the National Do Not Call List, this will stop all those annoying phone calls.

There are a few common costly mistakes that Balanced Care sees over and over again when we do meet with clients for Medicare products.   To make sure this doesn’t happen, Balanced Care recommends that you schedule a Medicare Review with us to make sure that mistakes don’t happen to you.     One of those mistakes is missing your open enrollment period.  When you are first eligible for Medicare, you have a seven month initial enrollment period to sign up for Part A and Part B Medicare coverage.      For example, if you are eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, your initial enrollment period will begin three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and three months after you turn 65.    If you don’t sign up for Medicare during this period and don’t have coverage through your employer, you may be penalized for not signing up in time.  On the flip side of that, some people will sign up for Medicare Part A and B, pay for it for years, and didn’t have to do so.  This is one of the reasons that sitting down for a free consultation with us is so important.   The last thing you want to do is to use your hard earned income on penalties or on something that you didn’t need in the first place.

Once you know when you should sign up for Medicare, you can either go to your local Social Security office or apply online.   It takes less than ten minutes online and will save you the drive or waiting for an appointment with a Social Security representative.  You can do this at www.medicare.gov.

Now that you have signed up for Medicare, Balanced Care can review your healthcare needs and make the proper recommendations to make sure your healthcare costs are kept to a minimum.      As we have said, you have worked hard to get here and deserve to take a deep breath and spend some of that hard earned money on yourself.

512602HC_FullTerri Trepanier is the owner of Balanced Care Health and Supplemental Insurance and a licensed insurance consultant and broker with Associated Brokers.    Licensed in both Maine and NH,  her specialty is working with small businesses, individuals, and families with their health and life insurance needs.  She is certified to offer health plans both on and off the exchange and is contracted with every health insurance company that offers plans in both New Hampshire and Maine.  Her other passion is assisting Medicare beneficiaries with their Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Advantage plans. Terri has seen firsthand the importance of insurance products and how they help families.  Her goal with Balanced Care is to “Insure Security and Peace of Mind One Family at a Time”.

 

 

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